The 2013 crime statistics from the city of Hartford are in. And police say most major crime numbers are down.
Last year, Hartford had 23 murders, up just one from the year before. But those numbers are down more than 30 percent from 2009. Also notable: the number of shooting incidents and shooting victims are down. So were robberies, assaults, burglaries, larcenies, and car thefts.
"We continued to build on our success from 2012, which was a very successful year for us bringing down the violent crimes," said Lt. Brian Foley, commander of the police department's major crimes division. And here's another statistic: arrests for murders and aggravated assaults were both up, while arrests for less violent crimes were down. Foley said that's because the department is being more strategic in figuring out who to investigate and how to spend its time.
Foley said he knows that numbers like these can be with some skepticism. But he said that Hartford's numbers are for real. If someone gets shot during a robbery, that could be reported just as a robbery, and not a shooting. But that's not what the police do.
"The numbers are what they are," Foley said. "We're not trying to win by numbers. We're trying to win by success in the community."
Two last points. First, Foley says juvenile arrests are down 20 percent. The reason? Police say they are trying to make fewer in-school arrests. Also, sexual assaults are up on paper -- but that's because the feds have broadened the types of assaults that can now fall under that category.